While engineers and conductors aren’t part of the strike, the 3,000 Teamsters workers who maintain the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) bridges and track have walked off the job. The previous contract expired on December 31, 2006. The Teamsters are asking for a 13.5% raise over three year, while the railroad is offering 10.3% over the same period.
For its part the railroad has deployed trained management employees to handle the work. The workers have picketed key rail intermodal terminals in the regions of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. CPR observes that those actions present mild irritation for truckers but don’t affect actual train service.
Although the Teamsters have not yet picketed the Port of Vancouver, such an action could disrupt the movement of inbound and outbound cargo there.
A strike in February by Canadian National yard workers and conductors was ended by an act of Canada’s Parliament after two weeks. At present a federal mediator is weighing company and union offers and by July will pick one as the collective agreement.